Having once toiled at the Wall Street Journal, I submit that within days the media will start calling the BP (NYSE:BP) oil spill America’s “Gulf War 2.” Reporters will start using the lexicon of war, as in:
Oil plumes threaten to invade from Texas to Florida. . . . The body count (birds, fish, etc.) keeps rising. . . . America is losing the ground war (wetlands, beaches). . . . The army of tourists upon whom the livelihood of millions of Gulf Coast Americans depends is in retreat.
From Rush Limbaugh and Matt Drudge to Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann, the question will switch from: “Is this Obama’s Katrina?” to “Is this Obama’s Vietnam?” Commentators will keep making the point that, just as Lyndon Johnson’s popularity was so eroded by the Vietnam War that he didn’t run for reelection, Obama could suffer a similar fate if he doesn’t take charge (which is very different from taking responsibility, which the president did last week).
If they know what they’re doing, the president’s advisers will tell their boss that step one should be the appointment of a strong field commander.
My choice is Al Gore.
It doesn’t matter whether you believe Gore is right about global warming. The former vice president has the stature and broad environmental knowledge required to fight Gulf War 2 on behalf of the American people. Gore’s appointment would put an end to the government’s passive, disconnected response to the oil spill. He would inspire thousands of young Americans to volunteer for the clean-up effort that’s still to come. All Americans would be reassured that Gore fights for America’s natural resources (and the jobs they can sustainably create), not for BP’s corporate balance sheet.
To all Seeking Alpha readers: if you've got a better candidate, then, please, name him or her.
(Footnote: should the war be won under Gore’s leadership, it would usher in a new – and profitable – age for alternative energy investing.)
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